Tag Archives: BNP

POLIS: The BNP and Question Time: How Belgian media handles the extreme right

Following reports that the British National Party (BNP) is to be invited on BBC’s Question Time, Dr Bart Cammaerts reflects on how the Belgian media handles far right politics.

[The BBC’s chief political advisor, Ric Bailey, explains the thinking behind the decision in this blog post.]

In Belgium and other European countries far right parties have been a part of the political mainstream for decades, suggests Cammaerts.

Cammaerts comments on the differing media schools of thought when it comes to reporting on far right politics:

  1. these parties should be treated in the same way as other political groups and given the same exposure and attention;
  2. sharing a platform with these groups legitimises their position.

“Journalists should furthermore be very aware of the dangers of legitimizing extreme right discourses when reporting on the extreme right and when interviewing their representatives,” he writes.

“Pluralism should be radical in a democracy, but for vibrant multi-cultural and ethnical democracies to be able to survive, a common ground relating to basic values such as equality, respect, solidarity, difference, etc. is crucial as well. Popper’s paradox of tolerance sums it up pretty neatly, up until what point can intolerance be tolerated before it destroys tolerance all together?”

Full post at this link…

Reuters: Former BNP man fined for leaking members list

Matthew Single, a former British National Party (BNP member, has been fined £200 for breaking data privacy laws after leaking details of the group’s membership online.

Single, who was previously the party’s deputy secuirty head, leaked the information about more than 10,000 BNP members last November, creating a media frenzy – and raising issues about privacy and data protection.

Full story at this link…

Journalism.co.uk’s reports on the leaked BNP list last November:

BNP members list leak gathers pace online – to link or not to link?

Members list still available but journalists and bloggers fear breaking BNP injunction

The Drum: ‘BNP begins complaint campaign aimed at MEN’s advertisers’

“The BNP is encouraging its supporters to complain to the Manchester Evening News’ advertisers following the paper’s editorial stance urging readers not to vote for the party in next week’s European elections,” reports the Drum.

[If you’re not registered, you’ll need to do so first in order to read] Full story at this link…

Newsquest titles run BNP ad

This screengrab tells the story. Or visit Newsquest’s Bromsgrove Advertiser page directly. The newspaper is carrying a homepage banner advertising the BNP. The advert clicks through to the BNP website. At time of writing the same ad can be found on Newsquest’s Dudley News and Stourbridge News sites.

bromsgrove2

(via Jon Slattery’s blog)

Last year Archant title, the Hampstead & Highgate Express, defended its decision to carry BNP advertising.

Journalism.co.uk’s top 10… journo-lists

It’s the time of year again for reviews of 2008, top tens, gift guides and all the rest.

Not another list post, I hear you cry. Would we do that to you, us, Journalism.co.uk?

Well, yes, we would.

For your listing pleasure here’s our 10 of the best of the journo-related variety:

  1. 1. Regret the Error’s ‘The Year in Media Errors and Corrections’ – as the title suggests.
  2. 2. Google’s Zeitgeist 2008 – the most commonly searched for and ‘fastest rising’ words and phrases of the year.
  3. 3. 10,000 Words blog’s top 10 posts of the year – and the stories behind them. (This list even includes other list posts, so we’re getting into the spirit now)
  4. 4. I Want Media’s Media Person of the Year 2008 – Ariana Huffington beats off competition from Rupert Murdoch and Eric Schmidt of Google.
  5. 5. Journalisted – okay, so it doesn’t include web journos rather mainly UK print writers, but the journalists listed in this searchable directory is growing.
  6. 6. Another one from 10,000 Words – ’30 must have gifts for journalists’ in true festive, gift guide style.
  7. 7. The leaked BNP member’s list – not a list we’d choose to republish, but it certainly sent our blog traffic into overdrive and raised some questions about reporting data leaks.
  8. 8. The Committee to Protect Journalists’ index of imprisoned journalists (CPJ) – another sobering entry, but this year’s list from the CPJ found more online journalists were imprisoned as of December 1 than those working in other media.
  9. 9. Top Twitterers – not just journalists, but a lovely superficial list and good to see @stephenfry in 16th with only 155 days under his belt at time of writing.
  10. 10. This post.

This isn’t the definitive list it could be – online lists can grow – so feel free to add others/plug your own.

UPDATE – some new additions to the pile:

BNP members list leak gathers pace online – to link or not to link?

Removing the original online posting of the leaked list of members of the British National Party (BNP) has failed to contain the spread of the information online.

The list and reactions to it are being avidly Twittered, as a search for BNP on Twitter search engine Summize shows, while the document has made its way onto Wikileaks.

According to the party’s website, the blog that posted the ‘outdated’ list was removed from Blogger ‘after urgent legal action was instituted by the BNP leadership’.

In a Guardian.co.uk article, BNP leader Nick Griffin has admitted that the party is relying on the Human Rights Act, which it opposes, to help protect its members’ privacy.

Meanwhile reporting on the incident has raised questions of linking, as this blog post from TimesOnline suggests:

“The Times decided not to link to the list, even though we often do link to material without taking that as some kind of endorsement.

“There were various reasons for the decision, most of them expressed in other comments on our various online reports. Firstly, BNP members have as much right to privacy as anyone else. Secondly, last time we checked it was still a free country: there is no law against membership of the BNP.

“The list is out there now, even if a Google search no longer throws it up. The anti-fascist campaigners and phone-prankers are having a field day. We don’t need to help them.”

Blogger Craig McGill adds the following observation on the list’s travels online:

“I see the list has appeared on file sharing outlets? Will social crusaders claim this is a good use for P2P which is normally associated with piracy?”

Similarly a Google Maps mashup has also been created, though, as TechCrunchUK warns, it’s dangerously inaccurate and has the potential to aid vigilantes – while I write the map was taken down because of inaccuracies.

McGill also suggests that this story was broken first by mainstream media, despite being an online story – is this the case? If so, for an online leak, this could be a good sign of ‘traditional’ outlets upping their game when it comes to online news tracking.

Blogger Matt Waldman suggests the story of the leaked list was broken by the Lancaster Unity blog, while TheRegister.co.uk posted a report on the leak at 2:31pm (GMT) on Tuesday – also citing the Lancaster Unity post. MSM not quite first past the post then.

Waldman goes on to discuss the potential legal implications of linking to it:

“Links to material that is alleged to be defamatory (e.g. reports about Nadhmi Auchi preserved on Wikileaks) is part of the basis for the objections that the law firm Carter-Ruck have put to the New Statesman that have caused them to take down articles about Nadhmi Auchi by Martin Bright. No determination has yet been made whether that will stick under English Libel Law, but if the New Statesman and their legal advisers are taking it seriously I wouldn’t go the other way at this point. You will be relying on not being sued, which is your call.”

I haven’t linked to it in this post (though it’s easy enough to find with or without the directions given) for the reasons cited by both Wardman and the Times’ blog post.

The UK’s national newspaper websites aren’t linking either, though Mail Online posts both a screengrab of the list and pictures of alleged members and individual articles are being posted about ‘members’, their identies and any action taken by employers.

Debate on the blogs also focuses on how the list can be used – both journalistically and otherwise. The list was posted despite an injunction granted by the High Court in earlier this year banning its publication, so how will journalists (and the police and employers) act on it when it has been obtained in this way?

Guardian publishes string of anti-Telegraph stories – cue spat

While the Daily Mail allegedly has a gentlemen’s agreement with the Telegraph not to write about each other’s parent company, it hardly seems worth pointing out that no such pact exists between the Guardian and the Telegraph online.

Over the last month a series of articles published by Guardian.co.uk has alleged various problems with or criticised Telegraph.co.uk.

The latest links the MyTelegraph section with the BNP for a second time in little over a week, detailing a blog post on the platform by BNP member Richard Barnbrook entitled ‘Blame the immigrants’.

The Guardian first made the connection between the party and MyTelegraph with an article looking into managing online communities that discussed MyT under the provocative headline ‘Platform for free speech … or hate?’ and went on to say one user ‘publishes BNP campaign literature and flyers’ on the site.

On both occasions the Telegraph emphasised the free speech ethos behind MyT, which is policed by readers who are relied upon to report offensive material.

The policy seems to be working – Barnbrook’s post has attracted over 30 comments including several from the hang ‘um and flog ‘um brigade alongside more measured anti-BNP responses.

MyTelegraph’s problems at the end of last year, as the technology firm behind its development went into administration, were also documented recently by the Guardian:

“Telegraph Media Group’s community media site MyTelegraph ‘is on life support’ until it receives an overhaul this summer, the company’s communities editor said today.

“Shane Richmond told the PPA Magazines 2008 conference that the site had suffered periodic downtime, slow page-loads and instability since the company which built it, Interesource, went in to administration late last year.”

I was there, he did say that, but then again he’d already blogged about it months before.

But then again, again. He DID say it, so it’s fair to report him saying it.

In addition to this last month’s ABCe figures showing that the Telegraph site passed the Guardian for the first time to become the UK’s most popular newspaper website in terms of unique users, seem only to have fanned the competitive fire.

The Guardian was the first to delve into the Telegraph’s recent rapid growth in unique users – from 12,283,835 in February to 17,036,081 in March, and 18,646,112 in April – suggesting a switch in internal measurement tools may have prompted the surge.

Continuing the series of pieces on the Telegraph’s online traffic – and there are a few of them now – the Guardian suggests that a review of online traffic measurement announced by JICWEBS last week was sparked by publishers concerns over the Telegraph’s recent growth.

All fair news pieces from the Guardian? Surely there can be no complaint with their reporting factual news? Well, yes there can.

After the publication of the latest Guardian piece today, Telegraph communities editor Shane Richmond came out fighting, accusing the Guardian of hypocrisy and arguing that if the charge leveled at the Telegraph is one of giving a platform to racists and fanatics then it is a charge that could well be applied to the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog.

“How about we take the view that when you have an open platform, whether it’s My Telegraph, Comment Is Free, or the internet itself, then you have to accept that a multiplicity of views will be expressed on it and that some of those views will be unpalatable to some people,” he wrote.

“If the Guardian’s attacks on our site are motivated by genuine concern, then they should look closer to home first. However, I suspect that this sustained criticism has more to do with sour grapes over recent audience trends.”

Stories about other publishers are fair game and healthy competition between the titles is to be encouraged.

But take the BNP stories and the numerous stories about the Telegraph’s web advances en masse and one may begin to wonder when healthy news reporting begins to border on the obsessive?

UPDATE – the ‘debate’ continues with a post from Shane Richmond in response to a comment left by Comment is Free editor Matt Seaton on his Telegraph.co.uk blog

Media Guardian: Anti-immigrant BNP member blogging on Telegraph

Richard Barnbrook, the British National Party’s London Assembly member, has used the paper’s MyTelegraph platform to publish an anti-immigrant blog post.

A spokeswoman for the Telegraph said the presence of the post on the site did not mean the paper endorsed Barnbrook’s arguments and that readers are relied upon to report offensive material.

“Our readers are entitled to their opinions and, within the law, they’re entitled to publish them on the My Telegraph blogging platform,” she said.